Riding bicycles is a fantastic way to get some exercise, experience the outdoors in a new way, save gas and reduce pollution. Bicyclists in Montana need to take additional precautions when they ride on roads that they share with automobiles. When cyclists collide with a car, the results can be devastating from traumatic head injuries to broken bones and death.
According to the City Of Billings, there are several treatments to help facilitate a predictable and safe cycling experience in the area.
- Multi-use trails, often referred to as shared-use pathways are the foundation for the bicycle network. They separate motor traffic from those who are jogging, cycling, walking the dog and similar non-automobile traffic.
- Designated bike lanes along the roadways promote predictable travel behavior, encouraging safe-flowing traffic.
- Buffered bike lines provide more distance between cyclists and motorists who share the roadways.
The National Safety Council reports that wearing a helmet can reduce head and brain injuries by approximately 60 percent when it fits properly and meets federal safety standards. Cyclists must follow the same road rules as cars and trucks. The following rules apply specifically to those on bikes:
- Ride single-file, in the same direction as motorists
- Know the bicycle’s capabilities
- Use hand signals when turning at intersections
- Wear bright clothing during the day, reflective clothing at night
- Never hitch onto cars
- Make sure the front, rear, pedals and spokes have reflectors fitted
It is estimated that 80 million cyclists share the roadways with automobiles. Distracted driving or cycling and operating under the influence are the main causes of accidents involving cyclists. With more than 1,100 deaths resulting from collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles, taking safety precautions is paramount.